First of all, when it comes to choosing what weight and style of darts there isn’t a wrong answer. The only thing to keep in mind is to not spend a lot of money on your first set of darts. Typically you will change darts after your first year of throwing, so don’t spend a lot until you know which dart fits you perfectly. Ultimately, it all comes down to what makes you feel most comfortable when you’re at the line. Here are a few guidelines to review:
Overview of dart types. There are many different darts to choose from: wooden darts, brass darts, nickel/silver darts and tungsten darts. The most popular dart for dart league throwers is the tungsten dart because a high-density tungsten dart will resist wear and creates a smaller barrel that allows tighter groupings of darts. Brass and nickel/silver darts are cheaper and are made from softer metal darts meaning the knurling can wear down quickly from skin oils, friction and contact from other darts. When buying tungsten darts make sure to pay attention to the packaging because the percentage of tungsten is very important to the quality of the dart. The higher the percentage the better, and more expensive, the dart. The main benefit of a high-quality tungsten dart is that the barrel will be smaller so you will be able to throw tighter groupings of darts, minimizing bounce outs.
Try out multiple dart weights. Your owe it to yourself to try out all of the different options that are available. Darts are available in weights from 12 grams to 50 grams. It is rare to see someone throwing with darts heavier than 30 grams, but most dart organizations allow for darts up to 50 grams. Make a visit to your local dart store and throw the same dart style in each weight class. The speed in which you throw the dart will help determine which weight to choose. The lighter the dart the harder/faster you have to throw it. The location of the weight on the dart barrel is also important. Some darts are heavier towards the front of the dart (front-loaded) and others are back-weighted. Try them all and you’ll develop a feel for what works best for you and your throwing style.
Try out the different dart barrel grips. Your next step is to try out different barrel grips that are available in the weight you have chosen. Some dart barrels have heavy knurling and others are smooth. Typically, the heavier the knurling the easier it is to grip the dart. However, extremely heavy knurling can cause darts to stick to your fingers and mess with your accuracy. For the typical dart player, there is more than one dart barrel that will work. Just make sure to choose the one feels the best and run with it.
Try out different flights. There are many different sizes and styles of flights, including smooth and dimpled surfaces. Try them all out. The size and style of your flights can impact your game. Dimpled surfaces, for example, will help slow down and stabilize your darts. Try out all dart flight sizes and styles until you feel comfortable with your final configuration, but don’t be afraid to experiment as time goes by.